Friday, April 5, 2013

A computer only does what you tell it

A guy at work lost a folder. Turned out he had closed it and didn't know where to find it. He explained that he didn't know if maybe the computer automatically deleted it after it wasn't used for a week or something.

Somebody chuckled at that. No matter. The computer does what you tell it. If it does something wrong, it's probably you that did something wrong. I don't think I've seen two true computer glitches in 35 years of learning to program.

But here's the thing: The economy works like a computer. It does what we tell it. If we have too much unemployment, it's because of policy. If we have too much inflation, it's because of policy. If we have inexplicable, insurmountable, inescapable debt, it's because of policy.

Like a computer, the economy just runs the program we set up. Policy.


Anonymous said...

Human beings are not computers. They do things on their own. The economy is just millions of human beings transacting with one another.


The Arthurian said...

Not "just". The economy is millions of human beings transacting with one another. I usually say, "The economy is transaction." I think it is sufficiently obvious who the transactors are.

But the thing that many people seem to miss is that the eventual result of all the transactions is an imbalance of holdings of the medium of transaction.

Anyone who attempts to solve our economic problems without correcting the imbalance is bound to fail.

The problem is not that people engage in transactions, but that transactions create imbalances.

Jerry said...

Anon, are you arguing that it is impossible to fruitfully perform any kind of deductive reasoning or engineering in a field of study, if there is some inherent randomness present?

Greg said...

Lets call those transactions sales!

Its all about sales.

If you cant sell something you cant survive today.

Banks are selling credit and its very expensive but our policy makes us buy their product............ should it?